Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Here is the heart of this post. After doing all my Albertsons shopping, I went to Costco to buy some things that I haven't found cheaper. Yet. I bought paper plates, bread, peanut butter, Frosted Flakes cereal and some Kashi bars. In the end, I spent over $100!! As I was walking out, I looked at the few items in my cart and knew that I could get almost everything much cheaper. We get a good deal on gas and we buy some high price items there so I don't think we'll ever get rid of our membership. However, I see a day when we won't be buying groceries or household products there. I just don't think Costco is such a deal anymore.
Now, after that insight, I'm going to go cut out my coupons from my six papers! It's all worth the effort :-)
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I had to do everything in four transactions which helped me get a little bit of exercise. Since I have to leave the store between each transaction, I had many trips out to my car. How this all worked was as follows. I had a coupon for $5 off 5 Kraft items. The Kraft cheese is on sale for $2 a bag or block. For the first transaction, the cost of 5 bags of cheese was $10, minus the $5 off 5 bags coupon made the total $5 up front. I then received a $5 catalina to use on my next transaction. I went back and bought 5 more bags of cheese, again for $10. With a $5 off 5 bags coupon and a $5 catalina made the total $0 with a $5 catalina received for my next transaction. I did the same for the bags only bought 5 blocks of cheese. Again, received a $5 catalina which I used to buy the Cool Whip. The Cool Whip was $1 a tub. Five tubs then cost $5 which I used my $5 catalina to purchase. I then received a $5 catalina from this transaction to use the next time I shop at Albertson's.
A few months ago, I had no idea what a catalina was or that you could use them this way to keep getting free food! If you are reading this and wondering what a catalina is and how you can use it, please leave a comment and I'll try to explain it in another post.
The full price cost of this purchase would have been $70.20. With my super duper deal, I got these for $32.00 shipped. Maybe those who are great bargain finders would wait until the lotion was on clearance and get it all for like $10. However, I wanted the lotion now. Did I mention how much I love it!! My favorite scent right now.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Anyway, since I was planning and preparing for this party today, I didn't have a chance to get to Rite Aid last week. There were some good deals on things that I could use but I just couldn't find the time to get there. I told myself it was all okay because I don't really need to go shopping every week. Right now I'm building up my stockpile of toiletries and other household items you can buy at Rite Aid. So I feel more of a need or desire to get all the deals every week. But I've read that the deals will come around again and it's not the end of the world to miss a few here and there. But, when we got done with the party today, I couldn't wait to get my coupons together and get to Rite Aid before it closed. There weren't any super great deals this week but I just needed to go. It's my favorite store and I was starting to miss it! I'm feeling pretty good about my trip(s), however. I actually went to Rite Aid this morning before the party to get four 2-Liter bottles of 7-UP. They were 4 for $5 with a $2 +UP reward which is like getting $2 back. This afternoon, I took those $2 and, with coupons, bought $24 worth of stuff for $2.50 and received $8 in +UP rewards. Again, the +UP rewards are like getting cash back. In total today, I spend about $7.50 and got back $8 so essentially broke even. I feel good about it.
I had wanted to go to Albertsons and get some free cheese but I forgot my coupon for that. All of the activities of the day have finally caught up to me and I'm feeling a little tired. So I've decided I'll wait until tomorrow to get my free cheese. It will still be there, I hope!
Friday, August 27, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Conversely, Staples easy rebates are predetermined. So, if you spend $3 after coupons on an item but the easy rebate amount is for $4, you will end up $1 ahead in the end. Plus, my Staples accepts competitors coupons. So, I can take my $5 off Office Depot coupon and use it at Staples. Also, the Staples rebates come as checks so you can cash them and use the money anywhere. The Office Depot Worklife reward is an Office Depot card and expires in a few months.
I guess that's what this process is all about. Live and Learn. After I spend my rewards money, I don't think I'll go out of my way to shop at Office Depot. Unless there's a SUPER awesome deal that I just can't pass up!
Monday, August 16, 2010
I can't help but be excited about this. I just bought six bags of Pepperidge Farm cookies today and didn't pay a cent for any of them!
Remember that I said I didn't think I would go to Albertsons even when they released their "Double Value" coupons? Well, I had every intention of ignoring those doubles coupons because of all the run around they asked me to do. However, as we've all discovered, I can't pass up a good deal. And THIS was a GOOD deal! These cookies were on sale for $1.99 per bag. The Pepperidge Farm website happens to have a $1 off coupon. Unfortunately they will only let you print 2 copies per email. Usually you can only print 2 copies per computer but this was set up a little different. Two copies per computer and per email. So, I had to do some printer juggling and register three of my email accounts but I was able to print 6 coupons. Since I can only use three doubles coupons per transaction, I bought the Milano cookies first, just to make sure it worked the way it was supposed to. Then, because I have to physically leave the store (per their oh-so-friendly manager), I put those in the car and went back in for round two. Since I knew exactly where the cookies were and I wasn't getting anything else, it made each trip nice and speedy and I didn't mind having to leave.
I think I will continue to do most of my shopping at Safeway because they are much more coupon friendly but I may have to make an exception to shopping at Albertsons. I may shop there when I can get free cookies!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Have you seen the new L’Oréal® Paris Collagen Micro-Pulse™ Eye cream? It's brand new on the market, released the beginning of July. Here is what it claims to do:
1. Immediately reduces the appearance of crow’s feet and eye bags
2. Minimizes the appearance of eye bags, dark circles and crow’s feet in just four weeks
3. Features a a ground-breaking micro-pulse massager to minimize eye puffiness
Basically, there are two components to this product. 1. A cream that works "immediately" and 2. the micro-pulse vibrator that massages the skin after the cream is applied. The cream contains something they've termed "Erasyl" which "minimizes dark circles for brighter eyes." It also contains collagen which "smoothes away any appearance of under-eye wrinkles and crow's feet." The micro-pulse massager stimulates "circulation with gentle micro-pulsations" which reduces "puffiness and bags for rejuvenated eyes." This came from the flier I received from the company along with my sample.
I've been using the L’Oréal® Paris Collagen Micro-Pulse™ Eye cream for about two weeks now. I really like the way the cream feels. It is not greasy at all but very moisturizing. I do not have eye bags or dark circles so I cannot evaluate it's effectiveness for these conditions. However, I do have crow's feet and am always looking for a way to get rid of them. This, like every other product on the market, does not remove those tiny wrinkles. It does minimize them a little. And, to be honest, I fell the micro-pulse massager is just another gimmick. I cannot say that I have seen any improvement from using that than from using the cream alone. That being said, this product is very reasonably priced at under $20. I saw it on sale for $17.99 at Rite Aid a few weeks ago. Compared to all the other beauty/anti-aging creams around it is better priced and probably just as effective. Pair a sale price with a coupon and you've got a great product for a great price. If you'd like a coupon, please let me know and I'll try to get one to you. Unfortunately, I don't know the value of the coupon but once you get it, you can let me know! Also, if you try the L’Oréal® Paris Collagen Micro-Pulse™ Eye cream, let me know what you think of it.
If you're interested in becoming a BzzzAgent to try new products for free and create Bzzz by talking about them, go here and sign up. It's free and with no obligation.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
2 cups pizza cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
Browned sausage (you can also use hamburger, pepperoni, or bacon)
1 jar of pizza sauce I just use pasta sauce
2 tubes buttermilk biscuits.
*Note: I don’t put veggies in this b/c my family doesn’t like the veggies, but feel free to add whatever you would order on your own pizza.
Step #1: Brown and drain the meat.
Step #2: Cut the 2 tubes of biscuits into quarters. I like to use my kitchen scissors for this
Step #3: Put the biscuits into a bowl along with the jar of pizza sauce.
Step #4: Add the meat and any other toppings you may have.
Step #6: Mix it all together. I just throw it all in a glass pan and mix it right in there. I try to dirty up as few dishes as possible!:)
Step #7: Pour into a baking dish (ungreased).
Step #8: Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Step #9: No, I didn’t forget the cheese! After baking for 20 minutes, take it out and add your cheese. Now pop it back in the over for 10 more minutes.
Here's my breakdown of cost per item:
1 1/4 pound ground turkey - about $2 (I bought this during a buy 1 get 1 free sale)
pasta sauce - free (my mom made this and canned it for me but I also recently bought a few jars of pasta sauce for free too)
olives - maybe $0.25 (I bought the cans a long time ago, before I was using coupons so I can't remember exactly but they were probably less than $1 per can and I only used about 1/3)
Bisquick mix - maybe $0.10 (I bought a big box for probably less than $0.50 and I used 2/3 cups from the box so $0.10 is an overestimate)
4 tbsp egg white mix to make the biscuits - maybe $0.25
2 cups cheese - $0.37 (I bought this during a BIG sale. I got 10 bags of shredded cheese for $0.37 each!)
We also warmed up some Rhodes rolls which were $0.50 and some frozen corn which was $1.50.
So total for an entire meal was about $5! I think that's a great price for a good meal.
When you have a chance, try this recipe and let me know what you think.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I got everything above for under $9. Considering the cost of the ice cream shoppes were each $4, that makes the rest pretty cheap. I got four packs of Bic pens (9 pens in each bag) and 6 packs of post-it sticky notes, all for free!! The Sobe's were $0.25 each.
I couldn't find the $1 Rayovac batteries. I guess I'll just have to wait for them to show up again. I was also looking for a Shout deal. In order to do it right, I would need to buy 6 bottles. When I got there, there were only two left. Not enough for my special deal. I guess there are other couponers in the area after the same products I want. Now I have to decide if I want to make another trip later in the week to try again or just scrap it. Who knows. But I'm happy to report that all of my coupons were accepted without a problem. There were none of the bad coupon beeps, only good coupon beeps which meant that they were all accepted! I love it when they scan without problem.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Bic pens $1 per pack.
Use $1 off 2 packs Target coupon + $1 off 2 packs manufacturers coupon
Two packs should be free
Rayovac batteries $1 per pack
Use $1 off 1 pack coupon
Each pack should be free
Post It Sticky notes $1
Use $1 off 1 pack coupon
Each pack should be free
SoBe 20oz bottles $1
Use $0.50 off 1 bottle Target coupon + Buy 1 Get 1 free manufacturers coupon
Each bottle should be $0.25
This is one where it might be possible to get both for free by using 2 $0.50 off Target coupons. I have read that this is possible in some stores. However, since I haven't had good coupon luck at my store, I'm not going to press my luck.
I've also read that there are many clearanced items in the cleaning section. I plan to take my coupon binder just in case. I never know when I might find something on clearance that would be free with a coupon. I'm not very good at finding those deals yet but I try to keep my eyes open. When I become a coupon genius I hope to be able to spot those deals from a mile away!
Monday, August 2, 2010
After Rite Aid, I stopped quickly at Albertsons. They have "doubler" coupons valid until Tuesday. So I was able to double three coupons in one transaction. After all sales and coupons and doublers, I got the four items below for $0.96. Plus, I was given the opportunity to call in on a phone survey to get a code for $2 off my next purchase. Again, counting the coupon code I was given, I basically made $1 and got the rest for free!!
Something about the whole thing seems wrong. I keep thinking it should be illegal to end up with more money than you start with. However, it's all legit so I get to be super excited about getting stuff for free!
I was thinking about going back to Albertsons in the morning to finish up my doubler coupons but I feel pretty tired right now and not at all interested. However, the pasta sauce was free and I may just head back and pick up some more. I have a hard time passing up free.
How did I get pasta sauce for free? It's currently priced at $0.99. There is a printable coupon that is $1 off 2 jars of Prego. When combined with a doubler coupon, it becomes $2 off 2 jars. When each jar is priced at less than $1, they're free after coupons. There is a Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies coupon available. I may have to print that one and double it and get a bag of Milano cookies. I can't pass those up very easily! Who knows what will happen tomorrow!?
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Oh, and the total of my purchases will be $0.54 + tax after I get my rebate back for the paper. Staples has a really easy rebate program called... "staples easy rebates"! You simply visit the easy rebate web site and enter some info from your store receipt as well as your contact info. In a few weeks, you get a check for the rebate. No stamps or envelopes or hassle. Easy!
Friday, July 23, 2010
I wouldn't have purchased any of the items in this picture except that I had an e-coupon for each item. The really cool thing about e-coupons is that you can use more than one for each product, unlike printed coupons. E-coupons are coupons that you "load" to your shopper or club card. The main sites that offer e-coupons are shortcuts and cellfire. When the cashier swipes your shopper card, if you have a coupon for anything you purchased, any and all coupons for that product will automatically be deducted from your bill. In addition, you can use a hard copy coupon for the product.
Looking at my picture above. The Nature Valley nut clusters cost $3.49. I had two $1.00 off 1 coupons loaded from shortcuts and two $1.00 off 1 coupons loaded from cellfire, essentially giving me $4 off 1 bag. I then used a $1.00 off 1 print coupon to get $5 off 1 bag of nut clusters. If the bag cost $3.49, how can you get $5 off? The overage, is applied to other items on your bill. So, the extra here almost paid for a gallon of milk. The Betty Crocker warm delights brownie bowl was $1.46. I had two $0.50 off 1 e-coupons and one $0.50 off 1 print coupon for a total of $1.50 off. This made the warm delights free and gave me $0.04 to apply to something else in my bill. I have never tried the Yoplait delights yogurt but with coupons, I decided to try them. One box of 4 yogurt cups cost $2.29. I had three $1.00 off 1 e-coupons and one $1.00 off 1 print coupon, giving me $4.00 off. This allowed $1.71 to be applied to the rest of my bill. The Glade candles were "on-sale" for $3.99 each unless you bought 4, then the price was $1.99 each. I didn't have enough coupons to buy 4 but I found one candle that was priced "for quick sale." This candle was $2.49. I had two $1.00 off 1 e-coupons and one $1.00 off 1 print coupon giving me $3.00 off a $2.49 candle.
The "club" card cost of these four items was $9.73 prior to coupons. I used $13.50 worth of coupons (e-coupons + print coupons) making all items free and giving me $3.77 to apply towards other items I purchased!
So, yes, I do buy items I haven't used before and probably wouldn't buy without the coupons, but if I can get them for free, why not!?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
3 Revlon fabulash mascaras Regularly priced at $6.99 on sale for 40% off which made them each $4.19. I then used 3 X $1 off 1 Revlon products which brought them to $3.19 each. I also received a $4 +UP coupon for purchasing over $10 of Revlon products.
1 Cryostat hemorrhoid medication (you never know when someone might need this) Regularly priced at $12.99. On sale for $8.99. I used a $2 off coupon to make it $6.99. There is a $8.99 Single check rebate on this product making it a $2 money maker.
1 Zegerid 14ct Regularly priced at $12.99. On sale for $10. I used a $3 off Zegerid manufacturers coupon + $3 off Video Values coupon + $3 off in-ad coupon making this $1. This purchase qualified for a $7 +UP coupon making this a $6 money maker.
With this transaction, I also used a $5 off $25 Rite Aid purchase coupon and $3 +UP coupons I received from a previous transaction.
My total was $11.75 (with tax) and I will receive $8.99 back with a Single Check Rebate and $11 +UP coupons which I used for the second transaction.
1 AirWick mini freshmatic starter kit Regularly $9.99 on sale for $4.99. I used $4 off one starter kit coupon making this $0.99
1 Smooth Move herbal laxative tea Regularly $5.99 on sale for $3.69. Will receive a SCR for $3.69
1 DrNatura ColonAide natural cleansing kit (I thought I might give this to my mom since she likes these types of things!) Regularly $29.99 on sale for $22.99. Will receive a SCR for $22.99
1 Dulcolax Balance Regularly $12.99 on sale for $9.99. Will receive a SCR for $9.99
I used my $11 +UP coupons from transaction #1 plus a $5 off $25 Rite Aid purchase.
My total on this one was $25.07 (with tax) and I will receive $36.67 in single check rebates.
I paid $36.82 for both transactions, including tax and will receive $45.66 back in rebates earning me $8.84, 3 mascaras, really good colon health, and an air freshener which may be needed after all those colon products!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
In my neverending quest to be more organized, I downloaded a free spreadsheet for my hundreds of coupons I've already acquired. When I opened the program, there was a sort of "welcome" page that described the spreadsheet creator and his purpose for making spreadsheets for money management. In the midst of his writing, he mentioned the, not-so-pleasant, task of budgeting. He then quickly described a software program I'd never heard of, YNAB3. Definitely not one of the big names. But the description was enough for me to look further and read more reviews. I liked almost everything I read and decided to download the 7 day free trial. I have had it for 2 days now and see the incredible potential it has for budgeting.
This is not a checkbook register type program like Quicken. You do enter transactions and reconcile them to your accounts. However, the difference is in the budgeting.
After setting up your accounts, you set up a budget. For me, this is difficult because I don't know exactly how much money we currently spend on things like gas or groceries. So I'm starting out with very rough estimates. I will use groceries as an example of how the budgeting portion of the program works. Let's say I budget $500 per month to groceries. As I enter transactions in the "groceries" category, they are automatically deducted from the groceries portion of my budget. I start out the month with $500. During week one I spend $60 at Albertsons and $40 at Safeway. When looking at my budget screen it will tell me that I have $400 left in my grocery budget for the month. Week two I spend $175 at Costco and $25 at Wallmart. I'm now down to $300. Week three, another $50 goes to Albertsons and Safeway each, taking the amount left for groceries down to $200. I'm just too tired to do any grocery shopping during week four so I end the month having used only $300 of the $500 budgeted for groceries that month. Now I start month two and again I have budgeted $500 for the month. HOWEVER, since I didn't use $200 of the $500 budgeted for month one, this amount carries over to the next month and I now have $700 in my budget for groceries that month. The basic design of the program is the "envelope" system. I remember my mom using this system when I was younger. She would put cash into different envelopes and use only what was in the envelopes. When they were empty, there was no more spending for that category unless you stole from another envelope. Now, YNAB3 allows you to do the same thing only virtually.
The one thing I dislike about the program so far is the inability to easily download transactions from an account. However, this may not be such a bad thing since there is somewhat of a delay between when a purchase is made and when it is posted to your account. Manually entering transactions will help us stay on top of our spending.
Are you wondering what YNAB means? Well, the creators of the software were not very creative. They simply took the idea "You Need A Budget" and condensed it down to YNAB. Clever? Maybe. Creative? Not really.
If you are interested in finding an easier way to monitor your spending or following a budget, look into YNAB3 (oh, the 3 is because this is the 3rd version). YNAB3
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The summary of tonight's trip is as follows:
Total spent, $50.59 (that's including tax)
I cannot easily tell how much the price was prior to coupons (my calculator is not close at hand right now.)
I will submit for a $39.99 rebate from Neutrogena.
I will also get back as a single check rebate $7.69
Which makes my total cost $2.91!
Now I want to calculate the total cost of my purchases, prior to coupons.
$71.64 (not including tax).
Something I thought about later. With each receipt, Rite Aid prints off a coupon for $1 off a $10 hair care purchase. This is part of their +UP program. This can be used pre-coupons. Tonight I purchased $12 of shampoo. I could have used this +UP coupon to get an extra $1 off but maybe I'm just being too greedy!
Transaction number 1
4 boxes Kellogg's poptarts 12ct
2 boxes Kellogg's Rice Krispies, big box
2 boxes Kellogg's Frosted Flakes big box
They were having a special. Buy 8 items and pay $1.50 each. So the total for this part was $12. Then I had 4 coupons for $1 off 2 items. I could only double 3 so these coupons removed $7 making the total for 8 boxes, $5. I also bought:
2 Skinny Cow ice cream cups, small $1.25 each
use 2X$1 off any skinny cow product to pay $0.25 per ice cream cup.
Total for transaction #1 was $5.50
Transaction number 2
6 boxes Kraft Mac & Cheese for $0.79 each
I used 3 $0.55 off 2 boxes coupons and doubled them, making each box $0.24 (the price at Costco is $0.50 per box).
I also bought a bag of Jet Puff marshmallows for $1. No coupon but I needed some to make the Rice Krispie treats with the boxes I bought in transaction #1.
I found some chicken tenders in the meat dept that were priced at $5.24 and $5.14 with $3 off stickers on each package. Making the chicken tenders $2.24 and $2.14 for about 1pound each. I don't know if this is a good price or not but I couldn't pass up $3 off.
So, transaction number 2 was a total of $6.82.
Transaction number 3 had most of the meat.
I bought another 2 boxes of Mac & Cheese and doubled another coupon.
I also bought 2 bags of Mission tortillas for $1.99. I had two coupons for $0.75 off any one bag of tortillas which I double to make each bag cost $0.49.
I took advantage of the buy1get1 meat sale and bought four packs of round steak at $2.25/lb (adjusted price), two packs of fresh chicken breast at $2.50/lb (adjusted price).
The total for transaction number 3 was $30.29.
I recently found a list of "stock up" meat prices which I will be on the look out for from now on. Our freezer is pretty well stocked but if the price is right, I will try to take advantage of it to replenish our supplies.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Wanna make some $ with your Office Depot purchase?! Check out this deal scenario below…
Buy 1 Swingline LightTouch Reduced Effort Stapler $13.99
Buy 2 Office Depot Brand Multipurpose Paper Reams 500 sheets $6.29 each
(I would encourage you to buy 2 as this is great paper for printing coupons :D )
Use the $10/$25 coupon found here
Submit for the $13.99 Swingline mail-in rebate
Submit for 2 $5.29 Mail in Savings Visa Prepaid cards from the paper purchase
Final Cost FREE plus $8 moneymaker!
Tonight I stopped by Office Depot on the way home and purchased all the items above. When my rebates come back, I will be ahead $8, two reams of paper and a stapler. A ream of paper costs almost $3 at Costco so I definitely beat Costco with this one!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Item Cost Coupons +UP reward SCR
Crest toothpaste $2.49 -$0.75 $2.00
Renu contact solution $7.29 -$4.00 $7.29
Kendall first aid gauze 2 for $7.00 -$2.00 $1.00 $3.00
Gillette Body Wash 2 for $8.00 -$6.00 $2.00
Allergy Buster $9.99 $9.00
Blink eye drops $7.99 -$1.50 $2.00
Total $46.76 -$16.25 $5.00 $21.29
I also used $13.00 +UP coupons I had from the last shopping trip I took and a $5 off $25 coupon I had. This made my out of pocket cost $12.51. I got $5 +UP back and will get $21.29 back in rebates.
Here's transaction number 2.
Item Cost Coupons +UP reward SCR
Crest toothpaste $2.49 -$0.75 $2.00
Mitchum deodorant (3) $10.50 -$2.25 $2.00
Crest mouth rinse $4.99 -$2.00 $3.00
Glide floss 2pk $5.99 -$0.75 $4.00
Milk 1 gallon $1.99 No coupons, I just needed milk!
Total $25.95 -$5.75 $2.00 $9.00
I used the $5.00 +UP rewards earned from transaction number one above plus a $5 off $25 purchase. This made my out of pocket cost $10.21 with a $2.00 +UP coupon back to use on my next purchase and $9.00 to come back as a single check rebate.
Here's my total for the entire shopping trip. Total cost of items $72.72. My out of pocket was $22.72. My single check rebates from these purchases will be $30.29. So, I guess you could say, I earned $7.57 by shopping last night! That's awesome!! Shopping doesn't seem like such a chore when you can make money doing it!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I also discovered that I recently made a good decision to buy some FiberOne bars on sale at Target for $2 per box and use a $0.50 off coupon. This turned out to be $0.25 per bar and at CostCo they are $0.32 per bar.
I now know that we pay $0.50 per box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Rite Aid is selling boxes at Buy 1 Get 1 Free. Plus, I have a coupon. So as long as this calculates out to <$0.50 per box, I'll try to use all my coupons to get a better deal than CostCo!